Crimea Ready to Deploy Nuclear Weapons Systems on Russian President’s Order

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Crimean head Sergei Aksenov said that Crimea will welcome the deployment of nuclear weapons in the republic if Russian President Vladimir Putin deems it necessary.

SIMFEROPOL (Sputnik) Crimea will welcome the deployment of nuclear weapons in the republic if Russian President Vladimir Putin deems it necessary, Crimean head Sergei Aksenov told Sputnik.

“If there is such an order from the supreme commander, we would support it,” Aksenov said.

On Wednesday, the chair of Russian State Duma Defense Committee, Vladimir Komoyedov, said that needed, Russia was ready to place nuclear weapons in Crimea.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed on Wednesday speculations by US billionaire Donald Trump and the Western media of “nuclear rhetoric” in Putin’s remarks in a documentary on Crimea’s reunification with Russia that was aired last week. The media claimed that Putin had said in the documentary that Russia was ready to put its nuclear forces on alert to protect Crimea and the Crimeans against potential aggression.

© SPUTNIK/ IGOR RUSSAK

Kremlin Dismisses Claims of ‘Nuclear Rhetoric’ in Putin’s Crimea Remarks

Crimea rejoined Russia in March 2014, after 96 percent of the peninsula’s population voted in favor of a reunification deal.

In a speech following the referendum, Russian President Putin pointed out that it was held in full compliance with democratic procedure and international rule of law.

The West has refused to recognize the results of the vote, labeling Crimea’s secession an “annexation,” and have introduced several rounds of economic sanctions against Moscow.

Read more: http://sputniknews.com/russia/20150327/1020078568.html#ixzz3VbSmssbu

5,000 Military Servicemen to Take Part in Norway Drills Near Russian Border

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About 5,000 servicemen and 400 units of military equipment will be involved in the “Joint Viking” exercises that kick off on Monday in the north of Norway, not far from the Russian border.

MURMANSK (Sputnik) – The drills are the largest to take place in the region since 1967, Lt. Col. Aleksander Jankov, a spokesman for the Norwegian Armed Forces, said in an interview with Nordlys, a local newspaper, adding that all types of weapons will be used in the exercises.
According to Jankov, Lakselv and Alta (located in Norway’s Finnmark county) will be the main sites of the drills. Finnmark is in the extreme northeastern part of Norway and borders the Russian Murmansk Region.

Norway, alongside NATO, suspended all military cooperation with Moscow following Crimea’s reunification with Russia in March of last year. NATO has been accusing Russia of interfering in the conflict in Ukraine’s southeast and claiming that Russia has been helping independence supporters in their fight against Kiev forces.
The claims have not been proven with any factual evidence and Moscow has repeatedly denied any involvement in Ukraine’s internal affairs.

Russia has also expressed concern over NATO’s expansion eastward and the buildup of NATO forces along its borders, which the alliance launched last spring, amid the Ukrainian conflict.

Read more: http://sputniknews.com/military/20150309/1019235467.html#ixzz3U00rkg5a

NATO is using Ukraine crisis to advance towards Russian borders – Defense Ministry

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NATO is using the situation in Ukraine to push closer to Russia’s border, according to the Russian deputy defense minister. He says the Alliance’s activities have expanded considerably over the past years.

In their push, Anatoly Antonov says Allied forces are ignoring diplomacy.

“We’ve noticed that NATO member states are using the situation in southeastern Ukraine as a pretext to discard all diplomatic conventions, tricks and slogans and push forward, closer to the Russian border.”

According to the minister, what NATO is doing is completely out of proportion with what NATO commanders call the build-up of Russian forces on its side of the border in Ukraine. “NATO’s activities are many times greater than Russia’s.”

However, he added they aren’t a threat to Russia’s security.

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All of this is being done to restrain Russia and punish it for refusing to play along with rules set by the West, according to the official.

“Instead of uniting forces to fight evil, the worst of which is terrorism, Western nations are drawing new divisive lines, trying to realize containment schemes against unwelcome states. Today, Russia has been chosen as the target.”

He added that NATO currently can’t be considered the pillar of world freedom and security it is cracked up to be.

All this doesn’t bode well for relations between the US and Russia, Antonov said.

“Throughout my military and diplomatic career, I haven’t seen another period when Russian-American relations have been so difficult.”

The activities he was referring to include massive wargames in Eastern Europe and naval exercises in the Black Sea. On Wednesday, warships from the US, Turkey, Italy, Canada and Romania started drills there.

Another example is the NATO military parade on February 24, held just 300 meters from the Russian border, in the Estonian town of Narva. About 140 pieces of armor and 10 times as many troops, including US soldiers, took part in that event.

Moscow saw it as a stab in its direction, but Estonia defended its right to host a parade, saying it can move military whichever way it likes on its territory – the same argument used by Russia when accused of military build-up along its borders.

US armor paraded 300m from Russian border (VIDEO)

The US is sending 600 paratroopers to Ukraine by the end of this week. US 173rd Airborne Brigade Commander Colonel Michael Foster announced this at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC on Monday.

The forces will stay there for six months, with the stated goal of training the Ukrainian National Guard. However, the operation could grow bigger.

“Initially, the plan is to go for six months,” said Colonel Foster. “There have been discussions on how to increase both the duration of that event and the scope, the other things the US can assist with from a military perspective.”

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Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Aleksandr Lukashevich, said on Thursday that 300 American troops are already in Ukraine, training local servicemen near the city of Lvov.

The Ukrainian Defense ministry has denied Russia’s claims of US military instructors already being in the country.

“We don’t confirm this. It is the news from 12 years ago. Today it’s a fake,” the ministry’s spokeswoman,Viktoria Kushnir, told the Interfax-Ukraine news agency.

The spokesman for a region Defense Ministry media-center in Lvov, Aleksandr Poronyuk, also said the information “doesn’t correspond with reality.”

When asked if the training program will be used to send lethal aid to Ukraine should the US decide to do so, Colonel Foster said a “secondary method” will be used for that.

The Russian Foreign Ministry criticized the US push to give lethal aid to Kiev especially “in light of the rather successful implementation of ceasefire agreements reached on February 12.”

“Weapon supplies may cause not only the failure of the ceasefire and a new escalation of violence in the south east (of Ukraine), but also pose a threat to Russia’s security,” Lukashevich stressed.

RUSSIAN FIGHTER JETS PRACTICE ATTACKING NATO SHIPS

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Tensions over Ukraine continue to build despite ceasefire

by PAUL JOSEPH WATSON | MARCH 4, 2015

Russian fighter jets are practicing attacking NATO ships in the Black Sea in another dramatic sign that tensions over Ukraine continue to build despite a fragile ceasefire agreed last month.

“Russia’s newest Su-30 fighter jets and Su-24 attack bombers are using two NATO ships in the Black Sea to practice penetrating anti-air systems,” reports Sputnik, citing a source at the Sevastopol naval base.

Asserting that the NATO ships are conducting drills based around “repelling air attacks,” Moscow is taking the opportunity to practice “maneuvering and conducting aerial reconnaissance” outside the range of the ships in order to “practice attack scenarios”.

The report also states that Russia is closely monitoring the movements of the ships, namely the USS Vicksburg missile cruiser and the Turkish TCG Turgutreis frigate, and the assignments they are performing.

Three Su-30 jets and four Su-24 bombers carried out reconnaissance on the ships yesterday.

The exercises coincide with an unannounced test of nuclear weapons near the central Russian city Yoshkar-Ola. Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces (SMF) said the exercise was based around an assessment of the “condition and security provisions” of nuclear weapons in the Yoshkar-Ola Missile Unit, which is armed with the Topol intercontinental nuclear-capable ballistic missile complex.

Russia has also sought to demonstrate its military might with a series of maneuvers over sovereign European airspace. The latest incident involved two Tu-95 ‘Bear’ long-range strategic bombers which flew 40 kilometers off the Irish coast with their transponders turned off, forcing air traffic control to re-route commercial flights to avoid a collision.

Sporadic fighting in eastern Ukraine between pro-Russian rebels and Kiev forces continues to be reported despite an agreement from both sides to withdraw heavy weapons from the region. At least 6,000 people have been killed since the conflict erupted last year.

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Obama pretends to be a democrat, not a fascist

by ERIC ZUESSE

MARCH 3, 2015

A much-ignored huge news report from Reuters on Friday, February 27th, was headlined “Chinese diplomat tells West to consider Russia’s security concerns over Ukraine.”

China’s Ambassador to Belgium (which has the capital of the EU) said that the “nature and root cause” of the Ukrainian conflict is “the West,” and that “The West should abandon the zero-sum mentality, and take the real security concerns of Russia into consideration.”

By “real security concerns,” he is clearly referring to NATO’s expansion right up to Russia’s border, and America’s surrounding Russia with U.S. military bases, now inceasingly including the most strategic of Russia’s bordering countries: Ukraine.

In other words, this diplomat says: “the West” has a “zero-sum” attitude toward Russia, instead of seeking to move forward with an approach in which neither side among the nuclear superpowers benefits at the other’s expense — the entire world moves forward together.

This is a direct criticism of Barack Obama, and of all of the pro-Obama, anti-Putin, EU leaders.

It’s also an implicit repudiation of Obama’s having repeatedly referred to the U.S. as “the one indispensable nation.” (Another example of that phrase is here.) Obama keeps saying: every other nation, except the U.S., is “dispensable.” He clearly thinks that Russia is.

That’s not merely an insult: it’s an act of provocation; it is virtually asking for a fight. And all for what? For whose nuclear char?

This criticism of the aggressive nationalist Obama does not come from China’s top leadership, but it would not have come at all if they had not approved of it in advance.

China thus now tells Obama: Stop it. Stop it in word, and in deed.

Implicitly, China is also telling Obama: China is not dispensable, either. In fact, the entire mentality, which Obama embodies, is not just callous and insulting; it’s dangerous.

Like President G.W. Bush, Obama is increasingly an embarassment to his country.

Shortly before Obama’s coup in Ukraine, Gallup International issued, on 30 December 2013, a poll of 65 countries, which found that:

“The US was the overwhelming choice (24% of respondents) for the country that represents the greatest threat to peace in the world today. This was followed by Pakistan (8%), China (6%), North Korea, Israel and Iran (5%). Respondents in Russia (54%), China (49%) and Bosnia (49%) were the most fearful of the US as a threat.”

More details of that poll were reported here.

When the U.S. Government is hankering for a war with the only other nuclear superpower, such findings certainly make sense. And the 54% of Russians who cited the U.S. as the greatest threat to peace would probably be far higher today. But Gallup International didn’t publish any update on that poll-question, perhaps because the original financial backer (which was unnamed) wouldn’t fund it.

Already, the finding was bad enough. But Obama keeps calling the U.S. “the one indispensable nation in the world.” He keeps telling other nations: you are dispensable. He keeps rubbing it in — not the fact, but his own nationalism.

It reminds some people of Mussolini, and of Hitler. But Obama pretends to be a democrat, not a fascist.

Maybe he’s just a bigger liar than they were. Maybe that’s what he is so arrogant about: his terrific ability to deceive.

After all, he won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize for it: for lying. For misrepresenting himself as being progressive, instead of regressive.

Well, now: anyone who doesn’t know the reality is deluded by propaganda — and it’s not coming from Russia, nor from China. It’s coming from their own nation’s ‘news’ media.

Which heads-of-state want to be publicly associated with a foreign leader like that, one who tells the given leader’s public: your nation is dispensable. Fools. Only fools.

Obama is encouraging other countries to oppose the United States.

Wow. He’s the black George W. Bush.

Gazprom to consider separating Donbass gas supplies from Ukraine

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Gazprom is ready to separate gas supplies to Ukraine and Donbass, said company spokesman Sergey Kupriyanov, as an energy standoff between Moscow and Kiev escalates.

“We continue active correspondence with Naftogaz, which yesterday confirmed the remaining amount of paid-for gas in its letter – 206 million cubic meters as of yesterday,” he said in an interview with Rossiya 24 TV channel.

“At the moment we are ready to take gas supply to Donbass out of the discussion. We are ready to deliver the volume required by Naftogaz at the specific entry points,” added Kupriyanov.

At current supply levels the prepayment will be enough until the end of the week, and if Kiev doesn’t provide advance payment for March, Gazprom won’t be able to continue supplying Ukraine with gas.

“Therefore, the main issue for Naftogaz now is to find money for a new prepayment,” he said. “We will act according to the contract. If the money does not arrive on time, the gas won’t be delivered.”

The comment comes as the deadline for Ukraine’s gas prepayment looms, with President Putin and Gazprom head Aleksey Miller warning Russian deliveries to Kiev could be cut by Saturday.

On Wednesday Russian President Vladimir Putin called for Ukraine to decide whether it considers Donbass part of its territory and take responsibility for the situation, as cutting off energy supplies to the war zone “smells like genocide.”

On February 19 Ukraine suspended gas supply to Donbass saying the reason was the damage of the pipeline. After that Russia began separate gas deliveries to Donbass saying that a delay in prepayment by Ukraine may threaten further supplies of Russian gas to the country.

No Deal: Gazprom Refuses to Supply Gas Until Ukraine Actually Pays For It

Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 11.40.17 AMGazprom CEO Alexei Miller said Tuesday that Ukraine’s request for 114 million cubic meters of gas to be delivered in two days would lead to full shutdown of fuel deliveries if the payment is not received

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Ukraine’s tardiness in making its prepayment for Russian gas deliveries could lead to a full shutdown within two days and threaten the transit delivery of fuel to European consumers, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said Tuesday.”Ukraine has not made its gas prepayment on time. As of today, there is only 219 million cubic meters of gas paid for. It takes about two days for [Ukraine’s] Naftogaz to transfer funds to [Russia’s] Gazprom,” Miller said.

Miller said that Ukraine’s request for 114 million cubic meters of gas to be delivered in two days would lead to a full shutdown of fuel deliveries if payment is not received.”Therefore, the delivery of gas to Ukraine in the volume of 114 million cubic meters of gas in the next two days already would bring the delivery of Russian gas to Ukraine to a full stop, which will create serious risks for transit gas to Europe,” Miller added.

On Monday, Ukraine’s state energy company Naftogaz accused Gazprom of failing to deliver the gas for which Kiev has paid in advance. According to a statement by the company’s press service, Gazprom has supplied only 47 million cubic meters of the requested 114 million cubic meters of gas.

The issue of gas supplies is among the most acute in Russian-Ukrainian relations. In the summer of 2014, Russia’s Gazprom has cut off gas deliveries to Ukraine due to Kiev’s massive debt that at the time surpassed $5 billion. Gas deliveries resumed in December, after months of negotiations mediated by the European Union.

The so-called winter package stipulated that Ukraine repay $3.1 billion of its gas debt before the end of 2014 and pay in advance for future gas supplies. It also included a temporary discount of $100 per 1,000 cubic meters, granted by Russia to Ukraine, that expires on April 1, 2015.

Read more: http://sputniknews.com/europe/20150224/1018669186.html#ixzz3SgYifN69